More than 150 people were arrested at what police are calling a Covid-19 “superspreader” party.
Of the 151 people arrested, 35 were under the age of 18, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said as he addressed the media about the underground event held on December 5 in Palmdale.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic large events in the area have been suspended and a stay-at-home order has been issued by Governor Gavin Newsom, but that didn’t stop partygoers from holding the event in a vacant house in Northern Los Angeles County.
Sheriff Villanueva confirmed previous events similar to the house party involved drugs, underage drinking, prostitution and violence.
At the Palmdale house a child was recused who police categorised as a “commercially sexually exploited child”, the LA Times reported.
Police were “unaware” the girl would be there and she was found by “chance”.
Six weapons were also confiscated from the location.
“The event was not only a violation of the Governor’s health order, but it was also criminal in nature,” Sheriff Villanueva said.
The sheriff confirmed regardless of the pandemic, the event would have been targeted by police due to the alleged drug use, weapons, prostitution and presence of minors.
Authorities said the event highlighted a network of underground large parties that have taken place long before the pandemic and continued even as the virus peaked.
Sheriff Villanueva said his department was often “tipped off” about the underground parties by locals who were fed up with the events.
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